Several swimmers from the Haney Seahorse Swim club participated in a swim meet around Thanksgiving weekend. (Sarah Rudolf/Special to The News)

Several swimmers from the Haney Seahorse Swim club participated in a swim meet around Thanksgiving weekend. (Sarah Rudolf/Special to The News)

Maple Ridge athletes swimmingly qualify for western, provincial and regional swim meets

Haney Seahorse Swim Club swimmers to also compete at Swim B.C. Provincial & Divisional Championships

Haney Seahorse Swim Club (HSSC) athletes participated in a swim meet around the Thanksgiving Weekend in Surrey and ended up qualifying to a number of other meets and championships.

The SKSC LC and SC October Invite was held on Oct. 8 and 9 and the Guildford Recreation Centre in which seven teams participated from across the lower mainland. A total of 17 swimmers participated from HSSC, according to head coach Sarah Rudolf.

“Overall the swimmers swam very well, with five HSSC swimmers Cairo Wood, Isabella Hutchinson, Kirin Bullock, Kevin Drozda, and Nathan Dickie competing at this level of meet for the first time,” said Rudolf, “For all HSSC swimmers this was the first sanctioned competition that they have attended in 20 months, and the first time they have had the chance to jump on the blocks and compete against swimmers in other clubs since before the pandemic.”

Four swimmers qualified for regional, western and provincial meets. Juan Arango for divisional 200 Butterfly and 200 Backstroke, Joel Blanco for provincial and western Canadian 50 Freestyle, provincial 100 backstroke, provincial and western Canadian 100 Freestyle and divisional 200 Freestyle, Ryan Leslie for provincial 100 Backstroke and Keenan Gander for divisional 200 Backstroke.

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Joel Blanco also broke the HSSC Short Course Club Record in the 50 Freestyle — a two year old record, and 100 Freestyle — a five year old record, this past weekend.

“HSSC qualified swimmers to compete at both the Swim BC Provincial and Divisional Championships, as well as will have swimmers compete on the National stage in the spring,” said Rudolf.

In the coming days, the club’s swimmers will be competing at the VPSC Fall Invitational on Oct. 23 and 24 at the UBC Aquatic Centre. Blanco has also been invited to attend the Odlum Brown Colleges Cup on Nov. 6 and 7, which will bring together the top university teams from across Western Canada to the UBC Aquatic Centre.

“Supporting swimmers to compete at the highest level in the province and country is a focus for HSSC, and we hope to have more swimmers qualify for the upcoming championship meets as we continue through the season,” said Rudolf.

The club was closed for two years for the pool remodel and COVID restrictions and since the club reopened this season, head coach Rudolf has already managed to pull in over 100 registrations, from less than 15, when they started.

“The competition kicked off the new era for Haney Seahorse Swim Club. After surviving the pandemic as a club, as well as the closure of the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre for the two years before the COVID-19 pandemic, HSSC is excited to move forward and support our swimmers as they strive for excellence in and out of the pool,” she said.

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Several swimmers from the Haney Seahorse Swim club participated in a swim meet around Thanksgiving weekend. (Sarah Rudolf/Special to The News)

Several swimmers from the Haney Seahorse Swim club participated in a swim meet around Thanksgiving weekend. (Sarah Rudolf/Special to The News)

Joel Blanco became the club’s first Provincial (100 Back, 50 Free) and Western (50 Free) qualifier of the season. (Sarah Rudolf/Special to The News)

Joel Blanco became the club’s first Provincial (100 Back, 50 Free) and Western (50 Free) qualifier of the season. (Sarah Rudolf/Special to The News)